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  1. #1
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    Default *.gma - What's inside?!

    Hi all,

    I have a .gma file within the Garmin Folder on my SD card. Does anyone know whats this file for and what exactly it relates too i.e the map image or the sd card id?

    Also on the SD card is an .UNL file - im guessing this is the unlock code for the map?

    I can open the UNL file - its just a bunch of regular numbers and letters, but the GMA file is a whole bunch of mess!

    Thanks to all..

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  3. #2
    Navigation software expert *.gma - What's inside?!
    *.gma - What's inside?!
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    The GMA (Garmin Map Activation) can be viewed as a signature file co-existing with the current unlock codes from UNL. Its main purpose is to validate the current unlock codes are indeed generated by Garmin.
    GMA is encrypted with the RSA-2048 algorithm.

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    VIP Master *.gma - What's inside?!
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    The GMA file is pretty much impossible to crack, or generate a GMA code of our own due to the extremely sophisticated encryption algorithm.

    Others had figured out how to get around the GMA file check, but I have no idea how it was done.

    And Garmin has added another layer of protection to their most recent firmware/software versions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cnfhbr View Post
    The GMA (Garmin Map Activation) can be viewed as a signature file co-existing with the current unlock codes from UNL.
    For me, it seems the GMA mechanism is designed to facilitate many usage scenarios and it's up to map vendor which one to choose. If the vendor's intention is to implement a region-specific unlocking then yes, both an unlock code for that region and the device-specific .gma certificate can be required. While in another scenario, the .gma file just supersedes the unlocking code file ( .unl), not "validates" it. So the details are up to a map vendor

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    Navigation software expert *.gma - What's inside?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swall View Post
    For me, it seems the GMA mechanism is designed to facilitate many usage scenarios and it's up to map vendor which one to choose.
    GMA was designed to counter forged unlock codes obtained using JetMouse's keygen.


    Quote Originally Posted by Swall View Post
    While in another scenario, the .gma file just supersedes the unlocking code file ( .unl), not "validates" it.
    It's not like that.
    GMA file of course contains unlock codes, the validity of which is confirmed by a digital signature in the file. The main thing in this file is a valid signature.

    Here's the official Overview by Garmin:
    Code:
    Please Login or Register to see the links

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cnfhbr View Post
    It's not like that.
    GMA file of course contains unlock codes, the validity of which is confirmed by a digital signature in the file. The main thing in this file is a valid signature.
    Shure it's some kind of signature. Anyway that's my experience. Some time ago my vendor said that starting from the next map version current "license" is no more valid (as the map's FID value has increased) so each customer have to "renew" it individually according to the procedure. So I'd sent them ID of my unit and the vendor did responded with the .gma file generated. Actually, in order to get the map working, all I have to do is to place that .gma file next to gmapsupp.img in the ext. storage media. There are no other related files like .unl, etc. The .gma file missing results in auth error so the map is indeed protected. And that .gma file is the sole mean to unlock the map. I've no idea if that's right or wrong but it in my case it works in that manner.

    Thanks for the quote from the official Overview. Could you provide a direct link to the related Garmin page?

  8. #7
    Navigation software expert *.gma - What's inside?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swall View Post
    Some time ago my vendor said that starting from the next map version current "license" is no more valid (as the map's FID value has increased) so each customer have to "renew" it individually according to the procedure. So I'd sent them ID of my unit and the vendor did responded with the .gma file generated. Actually, in order to get the map working, all I have to do is to place that .gma file next to gmapsupp.img in the ext. storage media. There are no other related files like .unl, etc. The .gma file missing results in auth error so the map is indeed protected. And that .gma file is the sole mean to unlock the map. I've no idea if that's right or wrong but it in my case it works in that manner.
    No wonder.
    An additional GMA-check was added to the firmware of modern devices for maps with FID > 2200.
    As I mentioned before, the GMA file contains unlock codes that are digitally signed, so it was enough in your case.
    However, many legacy devices don't have additional GMA-check and don't support GMA files at all, only UNL.


    Quote Originally Posted by Swall View Post
    Thanks for the quote from the official Overview. Could you provide a direct link to the related Garmin page?
    Garmin does not publish such overviews on its pages available to the public.

  9. #8
    Navigation software expert *.gma - What's inside?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swall View Post
    Actually, in order to get the map working, all I have to do is to place that .gma file next to gmapsupp.img in the ext. storage media. There are no other related files like .unl, etc. The .gma file missing results in auth error so the map is indeed protected. And that .gma file is the sole mean to unlock the map. I've no idea if that's right or wrong but it in my case it works in that manner.
    The file with "unl" extension is just an only usual text file. Garmin device read it and content of the file be saved in non-volume memory. So until you will reset device there is no longer needed in this file. Did you use a unlock file with new FID sometime?
    As another option there are unlock code in img file. It may be distributed by vendor with ready for use file or with mapset for mapsource.
    We do not know anything about your map vendor...
    Garmin, how much is 30 pieces of silver for Judas today? Were they worthy for crucifix of GPSPower?

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    Navigation software expert *.gma - What's inside?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giomen View Post
    As another option there are unlock code in img file. It may be distributed by vendor with ready for use file ...
    Most likely that's the case, since the customer has updated the map on an individual basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giomen View Post
    Garmin device read it and content of the file be saved in non-volume memory. So until you will reset device there is no longer needed in this file. Did you use a unlock file with new FID sometime?
    Of course the device can save the code in NVM because it's feasible. On the same ground one can claim that if your computer is networked then all your sensitive data you ever placed on the computer are (or will be soon) stolen. Honestly, I don't think it saves an unlocking codes. Simply because it's not necessary. Moreover it will weaken the map protection strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giomen View Post
    As another option there are unlock code in img file. It may be distributed by vendor with ready for use file or with mapset for mapsource.
    We do not know anything about your map vendor...
    Well the whole truth is that the map on the vendor's web site is available as an executable file. To get the map, customer have to download and run that file, which rises a dialog in the process asking for the unlocking code. The customer have to type the code and the program creates the map image file for use on the device. So it seems the unlocking code is buried in the map image. It's no more necessary to put the unlocking code file (.unl) to the SD card. For my device anyway

 

 

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